Billy Mills Middle School name change to become effective July 1

South Middle School students hang out on the patio outside the school after early release on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017.

South Middle School will officially become Billy Mills Middle School on July 1 with the start of the 2018-2019 school year.

The Lawrence school board at its Monday meeting voted to rename South for Mills, a Native American who won the 1964 Olympic gold medal in the 10,000 meter run.

Board President Shannon Kimball said the first outward evidence of the name change would be the replacement of signage at the school, although she did not specify when that would happen. To save costs, such things as school stationery, team uniforms and the gym floor will be replaced when they were originally scheduled to be reordered or replaced.